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County Wins Bonus Pay Grievance
The grievants were clerks in the county’s Health Services Department. Beginning sometime after 2014, the grievants worked with, and trained employees in the Health Information Associate classification (HIA). While the county paid HIA employees a higher pay rate, the HIAs did substantially the same work as the grievants, with the exception of coding medical procedures.
Pursuant to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the grievants submitted written requests to the county for an Additional Responsibility Bonus. Under the MOU, permanent, full-time employees are entitled to additional compensation for performing additional responsibilities beyond those typically assigned to the employee’s class if the additional duties are those performed by a higher class, or in connection with a special assignment. After the county denied their requests, the grievants filed grievances.
The arbitrator noted that there was no dispute that with the exception of medical coding, the grievants did the same tasks as the HIAs, at least for part of the day. However, the grievants’ duties were fully consistent with their classification as they were not performing the level-defining duties of the HIAs. While the arbitrator noted it might seem unfair that HIAs were paid more than the grievants for the same work, the county did not violate the MOU.
To prevent similar problems or fair pay complaints, pay all job classifications equal pay for equal work. LCW attorneys conduct fair pay audits to assist agencies with these issues.